Wednesday, July 27, 2016

30 Weeks Pregnant

Counting backwards from my EDD (expected due date), I'm currently exactly 30 weeks pregnant. That means I've only got 10 weeks or 2.5 months to go...

Grateful thoughts often cross my mind these days. I'm thankful for this remaining time when it's just the three of us- Jerry, Brendan and I. While I'm sure baby no. 2 will bring much joy to our lives, I will certainly look back fondly on this past 1.5 years that Brendan has had his mommy and daddy all to himself. In due time, our attention will have to be split between two babes. 

These days, I'm no longer able to give B all my energy. The constant backache, pelvic cramping and discomfort has pretty much left me all but partially bedridden. I used to be able to bring him downstairs to the playground, for a walk or to the pool every evening. Now, I usually stay put at home, which makes me sad because I know how much he enjoys being outdoors, just like his mommy. Jerry is having a hard time too because he now has to drive me everywhere or do things around the house after work. This usually means that he ends up sleeping very late at night and is tired when he gets up for work in the morning.

I feel guilty sometimes that I can't contribute more. I want to work more, but I can't even make it to the MRT station on my own, let alone the office. I want to get chores done, but my energy is limited to short bursts that later require an entire day of rest to make up for it. I want to spend more time playing with B and showing him the world, but even getting up from a chair is painful. But while I do feel like I could be doing more, Jerry often reminds me that I tend to overestimate my physical ability. I've been trying to listen to him and force myself to rest more these days instead of ignoring my symptoms.

For my first pregnancy, I took for granted how physically comfortable it was compared to this current one. I never understood how some pregnant women who didn't even have big tummies were acting like they were disabled. Sometimes I thought they were just exaggerating their condition for sympathy. I now understand that every pregnancy is so different for each woman. I don't even think my bump is that big right now, but my hobbling side-to-side gait would suggest otherwise. It's when I'm walking next to Jerry that I realize how slow I'm walking these days. I used to think that he was such a slow walker, but now I'm always pulling him back and asking him not to hurry ahead.

I also miss drinking wine because sleeping through the night is a luxury these days. I keep waking up due to either the baby kicking me hard, or getting too hot, or sharp pains from turning. Sometimes I forget about the pelvic pain mid-sleep and get up too quickly to go to the bathroom. The stabbing pain that ensues is the worst!

But for all the physical suffering that I'm going through, I'm truly grateful for the knowledge that this is only temporary. I can't imagine living with this sort of agony for the rest of my life like handicapped or really old people do. This has given me a whole new perspective on the kind of mental strength it takes for them to live their daily lives.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Comparing Between Pregnancies

B's in his highchair now, snacking on his Happybaby kale and spinach puffs while I wait for his food to be done cooking. So now that I've got some time, I'll just write a quick post.

I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant with baby no. 2 and I've been comparing this with my first pregnancy. This is what I've noted:

In Utero Activity

#1: I did not feel any movement until about 18 weeks. The kicks only started to get really vigorous mostly after 30 weeks. Until the very end, I have never been woken up by his kicking. 

#2: I first felt movement at 12 weeks. The frequency and intensity of kicks have been building up since about 18 weeks. Currently at 29 weeks, I sometimes get woken up by her shoving and kicking at night.

Physical Discomfort

#1: I was still able to comfortably sleep until about 32 weeks. No cramping, but I did have to deal with swollen feet and bloatedness in my third trimester.

#2: Extremely bad cramps in the pelvic and lower back area coupled with periodic cramps in the abdomen since about 24 weeks. On bad days, I can hardly walk. The penguin shuffle began around then too. However, I don't have to deal with bloatedness during this pregnancy, partly because I don't have to walk as often and I'm still breastfeeding.

Physical Ability

#1: I still felt fairly confident in skates all the way until around 26 weeks. I was able to walk easily until around 32 weeks. DDR, tennis and badminton were all doable until the very last day.

#2: I did not feel I was able to skate anymore around 20 weeks. I did play DDR around 2 weeks ago, but only up till level 13 and only one round (3 songs). Walking more than 30 minutes gives me intense cramping later on, so I try to limit sitting, standing or walking too long.


#1: Craving all my usual foods. Did not feel nauseous except in the beginning and towards the end of the pregnancy. I did throw up involuntarily once around 30-32 weeks though.

#2: Craving all my usual foods while feeling thirsty and hungry constantly. I suspect this has much to do with breastfeeding. Was very nauseous at the beginning, lasting from 8-19 weeks. It went away for awhile, but I started feeling nauseous again around 23 weeks.


So basically, pregnancy no. 2 has not been easy compared to the first! I don't usually like to mention this to people because it's annoying when I get comments like "oh no, that means she's gonna be trouble."

Yeah well... As if Brendan's the most perfect baby in the world! He most certainly is not.

These days, he's capable of screaming tantrums and displaying stubbornness. Especially when he's made up his mind to do something and he's not allowed to. I usually stay calm through his antics (lying limp so we cannot pick him up, throwing things, screaming and banging stuff, being defiant) and ignore him while waiting for a quiet window where I can redirect or comfort him. I don't ever give in though. If I said "no touching Daddy's computer", I really mean it! I will remove him repeatedly until he gets the message.

In any case, I am looking forward to the day my kids are old enough to enjoy each other's company. I've been prepping B by showing him how to gently stroke my tummy and be gentle with pets, children and soft toys. When I ask him "where's your baby sister?", he'll happily pat and stroke my tummy with a smile on his face. It's sweet!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

L'Etoile Cafe & Public Holiday

This week has been a fairly fun week. When I say "fun", I really mean that I've been able to go out more and do something else other than cook, clean and watch Brendan!

On Monday night, Jerry took me out on a date to L'Etoile Cafe. He knows I like surprises, so he attempted one by not telling me where we were going to eat. It was a nice break from the usual because he is usually so predictable in his habits.

Given that he doesn't usually frequent hipster places like these, I was also astonished that he would even know of its existence. Of course, I later found out that he only discovered this place through a previous company dinner. Haha!

It also made the night all the more enjoyable when we discovered that L'Etoile was having a 1-for-1 main course deal.

He ordered the oregano chicken for me but we switched plates with each other afterwards.

I ended up having the roast pork belly instead and it was delicious. The skin was crunchy on the outside and sinfully buttery on the inside from the fat. It definitely felt like four pieces wasn't enough!

The first half of the dinner was marred by cigarette smoke from the adjacent table, but the patrons left soon enough and we could breathe easily again. I had initially wanted to sit indoors, but the tables were already taken.

Wednesday was a public holiday and I got to go down to ION to eat my favorite Scotts beef noodles again. It's now $6 a bowl as compared to $4.50 a bowl from five years ago!

In the late afternoon, we brought Brendan downstairs for a swim at the pool. He's really into his basketball these days. I bought it from Daiso. They have a rather fun variety of toys for $2. 

The weather was perfect and I didn't even have to use the shade on Brendan's float. We circled around the pool and even went in the jacuzzi together.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Public Transport In Singapore With Kids

Before I became a parent, I've had the privilege of living in the States with a car. When I first moved to Singapore and could no longer afford to drive due to the high cost of car ownership, I gladly took to public transport since I happened to live within a 5 minute sheltered walk of an MRT station. That was when I was single... Sure, it bothered the impatient me sometimes that it would take over an hour to get from one end of the island to the other, but how could I have reason to complain when the transport system here doesn't smell like urine, is sufficiently air-conditioned and is fairly reliable compared to the NYC subway?

Things took a drastic left turn once I became pregnant. When I was single, I would sometimes sit in the handicapped seats but always give it up whenever I saw an elderly person get on the train. Sometimes I gave up my seat when I wasn't even in a handicap priority seat. However, I hardly ever found myself giving up seats to pregnant women. Why? It wasn't because I didn't want to. It was mainly because I couldn't identify them until they were much bigger.

I'm 5'11" and very skinny. When I was 6 months pregnant, you could hardly tell if I were wearing something baggy. But I remember the first time I really needed a seat and there was none. It was when I was just 3 months pregnant that nausea symptoms came over me like a dark cloud. I probably looked like a teenager with my backpack and track & field T-shirt on with a pair of exercise shorts. Desperately, I looked over to the handicapped seats. They were filled with other young people playing on their phones or "fake sleeping", as many Singaporean commuters are infamous for doing. I tried to suppress the feeling of vomit and my head started to go black. Oxygen wasn't reaching my brain. I found myself sliding down to the floor and squatting just in case. Thankfully, a seat became available at the next stop and somebody offered it to me instead of taking it for herself.

I found myself becoming increasingly resentful as the months rolled by and my tummy grew in size. I naively thought that as my physical body expanded, that my inward suffering would become more apparent to the world. People should become more sympathetic right?

Wrong. I was so wrong. Even with my stomach bulging and just a week to go before Brendan was born, I found myself standing for a full 45 minutes on the MRT. My feet were so swollen by the time I got to my destination that I couldn't walk out of the station until I had taken off my shoes and rested my legs. My shoulders were aching from carrying a small bag because I had to hold on to an upper handrail. But it wasn't the physical pain that hurt the most. It was those uncaring eyes that sat in front of me- the eyes of the young, healthy, working professionals that closed the moment they saw me standing over them. The eyes that looked down into their phones and nothing else as other old people and pregnant women came on board the same carriage. It was the most ironic sight I'd ever seen- seats filled with young men and aisles filled with the elderly and pregnant carrying heavy bags. I felt so heartbroken, I went home and cried. How could people be so unfeeling?

Occasionally, I encountered posts on Facebook that would shame people who did not give up priority seats to the needy. The comments left on those posts completed the sense of utter sorrow and hopelessness that I felt.

"Why don't you open your mouth and ask someone for a seat instead of complaining next time?"

"Can't afford a car? Don't have kids!"

"Take a taxi and stop whining!"

"Do you know that other people feel tired too? Some people have illnesses that you cannot see and they need a seat too!"

Over and over again. As I scrolled and read these sentiments, they pierced my heart like icy arrows. I realized that giving up seats to the needy was an ideal that only a minority shared. How did this society end up like this?

My first pregnancy was just the beginning of an endlessly terrible relationship with Singapore's public transport.

When it rained, I would have to take a cab. This could set me back at least $30-60 a day. I can't tell you how difficult it is to board a taxi without anybody helping you, a baby in one arm, having to fold a stroller and put it in the back and get all your belongings in the car... Quickly, I might add.

To take a bus, you're required to fold your stroller before boarding. Sounds simple enough, if you had four arms that is. One for the baby, one for the stroller, one for your things and one to hold on to the rail to keep you all from flying to the back of the bus. Bus drivers usually don't wait for you to get seated before driving off. It's dangerous, but they're on a schedule. I get it. For everyone else's safety, the stroller has to be folded nonetheless. Moms and babies can always put a bandaid on if they get hurt I suppose.

In the span of a year of taking buses with Brendan and having to fold and carry my stroller on board, I have only ever had ONE kind young man help me to carry it on board. Most other people just look at me struggling sadly or avert their eyes- as if you could look away from a suffering person and their suffering would just evaporate. Not a single bus operator has ever helped me to carry my stroller on board despite it being part of their job to do so. They routinely help wheelchair-bound people get on the bus though. I'm not sure why this is the prevalent practice.

Now that I'm about very obviously 5 months pregnant and traveling around with a 15 month old, you'd think that things could possibly get better. I'm sorry to say that it only gets worse. Just yesterday, a journey from Khatib to Newton saw me walking and pushing the stroller 15 minutes to the MRT station (I can't take the bus because of the stroller folding rule), stand 30 minutes on the train (no seats were offered) and walk another 15 minutes to my destination (again, no bus).

Let's just say I'm getting used to feeling faint in the heat of the sun these days. This is me, a former cross-country runner (my fastest 5k was run under 20 minutes) and I'm having fainting spells from bringing my toddler and pregnant self around this little tropical island. Do I count my blessings because I do not have pregnancy complications? What about those who do?

It's ironic that those who are the most willing to give up their seats are usually the elderly and pregnant women themselves. I say usually, because I have encountered parents who did not give up their seats to others as well- and I refer to the dads sitting next to their wife and kids.

Most days, after a trip on public transport, I come home feeling completely drained mentally and physically and it takes a full 24 hours for the accumulated swelling and cramping to go away. Also, being pregnant means frequent peeing. But being pregnant and taking public transport with a toddler means frequently having to hold your bowels.

I think what I wish for the most isn't physical rest, but just sympathy and an understanding. It is one thing to suffer physically, but it is another to be made to feel as if raising a family were some disease you brought upon yourself. Since when did children and mothers become such burdens to society? Why am I looked upon as a bad mother since I must struggle taking public transport daily instead of being able to afford an outrageously priced car?

I really don't think living in a first-world country definitely means comfort in every way. People talk about Singapore being one of the safest countries in the world but nobody sees the anxiety us females go through when we stand in a crowded bus or train surrounded by males. Who will stand and speak up for a molestation victim when none will even stand up for a pregnant woman?

What Singapore's public transport has given to me is something very valuable. I will never look at the swollen ankles of an old woman the same way again. When I see her shift her weight from one foot to the other, I can feel her pain in my body. When I watch other people turn a blind eye to a heavily pregnant woman and her eyes turn a watery pink, I understand how she feels. When I see people rush past the handicapped to take their places in the lifts, I sense their frustration. All of this gives me the strength to speak out for others and also patience to regard the plights of others.

These days, I've given up waiting around for my physical pain to end. I tell myself that I have to be strong for my kids and that strength cannot come from anyone else but God. Whenever I feel exhausted, a scene from the movie China Cry of a very pregnant Nora Lam always encourages me (see 1:28:43)

I shall trust my body to Him and not to people.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

What Life Has Been

Brendan is now 14 months and 3 weeks old. He used to take two 1.5-2hr naps in the day, but I decided to drop one nap a few days ago and consolidate them into one 3hr nap in the afternoon. So far, so good. My baby quickly is growing into a toddler...

He's currently in love with his blankets and Megabloks. If the blanket is within his reach, he will try to pull it out from between the slats of the crib and crawl with it everywhere. I really don't like when he does that because his blanket would be dusty later on. So the moment I spot him with his blanket outside the crib, I will take the blanket from him and put it back in an unreachable spot. Thankfully, he won't cry or protest when I do that. He knows when mommy means business!

The guitar is another source of fun for Brendan.
Sometimes, I leave it lying on the couch and he will crawl up to pat the strings or examine the various little parts of it.

He's been taking little steps on his own since he was 13.5 months old. But like his extremely cautious INTJ dad, he prefers to do everything the "safe", "proper" and "certain" way. Despite obviously being able to walk on his own, he's still taking his time to master his balance- almost as if he wants to be an expert in standing alone before venturing onto the next step. I love that I'm able to observe this part of his analytical personality so early on!

My second Mothers' Day was filled with flowers, smiles and cake. My dad actually came by HOB earlier and dropped off (our favorite) strawberry cheesecake from SSC without telling me. It was a really pleasant and delicious surprise!

I wished my mom were in town. I would have gotten her something to eat too... Haha

When the weather's nice, I'd take Brendan to the playground downstairs where he can meet other babies and practice his standing/walking. He usually spends his time standing in a corner observing the other children play or walking round the poles.

Everyday is a new day of discovery and mastery for him.

Sometimes I am (not so happily) surprised by his new abilities.

But mostly, I love the daily smiles, cuddles and kisses that I get from him :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Responsibility

The breaks between each post on this blog is getting longer and longer. Time is a luxury for every mom with a baby and blogging just isn't a priority anymore. There are so many things that fight for my attention each day. Baby aside, there's the husband, work, chores, Facebook (guilty as charged) and devotions for the ladies' Bible study held at my place now weekly. I hardly even have the energy to go do the things I enjoy these days. Chinese calligraphy, skating, DDR, running, hanging out with friends... By the time 7pm rolls around and Brendan is in bed, all I have energy left for is to eat and finish up whatever I didn't get to do in the day.

Sometimes I get weepy and sick of the mom/work routine. Is this life even worth living when it's no fun at all? Why can't I have 100 hours in a day and unlimited energy to do the things that need to be done, and at the end of it, pursue my dreams and have tons of fun to top it all off?

Ironically, I have many reasons to be grateful. Brendan sleeps through from 7pm to 7.30am (thanks to the whole Babywise routine) and that gives me plenty of freedom in the night. Not only that, but he also takes consistent naps in the day, so you won't hear the usual "mommy complaints" from me like "I can't take a shower at all because my baby won't let me put him down!" or "I'm so exhausted from my baby because he won't play by himself and needs to feed constantly". I'm really really really grateful daily for all this. Truly, I am! I guess I'm just yearning for more... Is it greed?

Since Brendan was born, work has really taken a backseat too. Instead of prospecting heavily for clients, I only service my existing pool when needed. As a result, the amount of sales has dropped tremendously, much to the disappointment of my manager and doubtlessly, my overachieving dad (who I feel always has sky-high expectations for his children).

I often ruminate over whether my choice to spend the majority of my time on Brendan is a good one. Many women in Singapore in this day and age are expected to work alongside their husbands since the cost of living here is through the roof. Many are struggling just to feed one or two children, with both parents working. I know many of them may not look like it from the outside, but when you do the math, you'll realize that a lot of people are living on the edge with no retirement plans in place. I do receive judgmental silence/talk when it's revealed that Brendan is by my side almost 24/7. I bring him along with me to appointments if I can and even some meetings in the office. The usual question asked is, "why don't you put him in infant care or hire a babysitter or a maid so that you can work during the day instead of letting your sales suffer?". This is usually posed in a way that implies work and earning money is superior to actually looking after your child. I was even told once by a Singaporean aunty that my choice to watch Brendan on my own instead of putting him in infant care was going to turn him into a dependent softie of a man in the future. LOL! But my kid is the one who is able to sleep and play on his own right now as opposed to your super-clingy grandson- so where's the logic/evidence?

I don't bother to explain to anyone anymore why this is my choice. I simply realized that doing so would expose our differing fundamental beliefs instead of coming to a good conclusion. But for the sake of blogging, I will pen down my beliefs here.

I believe that children are not only a blessing, but also a responsibility from God. We are told in the Bible to "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). In Proverbs 29:15, it also says "The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." 

With these verses in the back of my mind, I always look back to my own experiences as a child. Being raised by a single working mom meant that I was always either in the care of a babysitter, relative or in daycare. In my teens and young adulthood, I've been a babysitter and fulltime caretaker myself. I came to the conclusion that nobody besides your own parents will ever put in as much care and effort in disciplining you. I grew up with inconsistent discipline and a general lack of parental guidance. People who knew me as a child and teenager can surely attest to the rebellious and impulsive behavior that in some part, resulted from that.

It did not matter that there was always an adult in the vicinity who made sure that I ate, bathed and did my homework on time. What I needed on top of having my physical needs being met, was to have my spiritual, mental and emotional self developed in a godly way that only parental authority can. Different caretakers meant different belief systems were imposed on me at various times of the day and years. I was punished for certain things in one place, but not another. But the worst pain of all, apart from inconsistency, was the lack of my parents' love. As a child, love simply meant to me that they were there. I used to look on in envy as other children had their moms or dads pick them up from school, drop them off at daycare, show up for performances and sports days in school. Mine were always working. I took it to mean that they didn't care. I know better now, but it doesn't undo the tremendous hurt that brought my young heart at the time.

Knowing all of this, how can I willingly give my child up to another person's care for the majority of the day? I know a grandparent's love can still never replace the soothing presence and consistent training of a parent. Our parents have earned the right to be grandparents now. Why should I ask them to discipline on my behalf when they yearn to spoil? I will not take that pleasure from them, nor do I expect them to be able to withhold it!

As the days pass, I grow in my conviction that this is the right thing to do. Earning money may be a priority for most, but I believe God gives us exactly what we need for each day. I do not need to worry about tomorrow. But what I do need to do is to take up this responsibility that He has given to me. It would be easy, and selfish in my situation to throw myself into work and let Brendan be in someone else's care during the day so I can enjoy life the way my unmarried self would have intended. But I do not feel that is my calling... 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

ENFP Growing Older (And Jaded)

As I get older, I find myself being able to spontaneously trust people less and less easily. What that looks like is me holding my true opinions to myself (when I deem others unable to understand, agree with or empathize with what I would say). However, even if I withhold my true opinions, it doesn't mean that I advocate behaving the OPPOSITE of what I believe to be true. 

As a result, if I don't trust you, I would just act at a very minimal level of polite. There will be no sharing of big ideas, personal beliefs, jokes (maybe just some socially awkward ones if I can't help myself), personal past experiences or most of all, advice. To avoid conflict, I may eventually just work at keeping a distance physically.

Sadly, these are all things that I dearly love to and wish to share with everyone. I feel sad when I have to withhold this natural part of me. Still, I know now that you shouldn't assume that everybody will treat what you hold precious with care. It's the same principle behind some moms not feeling comfortable with just handing their baby to any random stranger. My thought processes, feelings and beliefs are all very precious to me. I would never just throw them around now like I used to.

This also means that I am now much less vocal in a group setting where untrusted individuals are. I don't like feeling misinterpreted and then judged for the misinterpretation of what I am trying to say. Then again, I also REALLY dislike having to burn inside when I have something which I think is super important to share, but am unable to comfortably. I feel a lot less effective in discussions and debates now as a result. I just give up before it even starts because I feel that banter, if likely to end in me feeling unresolved conflict, is pointless. 

I can't help but think that this is such a shame. Surely there are other individuals out there like me who feel stifled.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Brendan Turns 10 Months

This past Saturday, Brendan turned 10 months old. I actually forgot that it was the 16th on that day and only realized it today. I haven't written about my dear baby for some time and I think now's a good time to catch up.

That afternoon, we attempted to get to the Treetop Walk via the Venus Drive entrance. I used to come here with Joel and Chloe so often that it's funny I haven't made it to the actual Treetop Walk once!

Jerry wore Brendan in the Ergobaby carrier for the entire 4.8km walk. I knew NS was good for something!

I was glad to see that there was an actual path with improvements (wooden boards over mud) now.

There were monkeys grazing near the entrance and one of them tried to get aggressive with me as I walked behind Jerry and Brendan. My mom instinct came out and I growled at it as I knew best to. Haha!

I felt very nostalgic walking along the stream, remembering the days when Joel and Chloe were still "little" and we waded and caught fish here together.

I don't know why I have a nice camera when all I bother to use ever since Brendan was born, is my iPhone 6. The photos are grainy at best. But it's so convenient!

This was a cool little cave formed by a fallen tree.

We had a nice walk but because we started out late, we didn't make it to the gate on time. I can't believe I didn't get to go on it YET AGAIN!

Got home, waited for Brendan to fall asleep at his usual 7pm, then whipped up a meal as fast as I could because we were starving.

On Sunday, Brendan got to play with his little god-cousins at House of Bread. I love that a little group of children is forming and blossoming in our Bible study.

Today, my baby is being kind of clingy.

I wonder if it has anything to do with being woken up rudely last night by loud noises. He just doesn't seem to want to be alone even though he's usually fine with that.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

For The Future Generations

We are living in a world of "information" now and in order to attain "success", it may seem imperative to become as knowledgeable as possible. However, knowledge, to me, is a leveller. And besides, Google.
What will make you stand out in time to come is not necessarily having the most knowledge. I propose three things (that unfortunately one may not be able to learn in a traditional school system):

1) Discernment- The ability to notice the fine-point details, the ability to judge something well or the ability to understand and comprehend something. (
Imagine having 100 dinner options to choose from and 5 vastly different and hungry friends to placate. Your life is on the line. Discernment will help you sieve through all the information to make the right decision.

2) Wisdom- The ability to know what is true or right, common sense or the collection of one's knowledge.
Why is knowing what is "true" or "right" important? Because by definition, what is "true" (faithful; loyal; constant) does not change. What is true today will be true tomorrow as it was yesterday. If you can use your discernment to sieve through the noise, it will also take wisdom to identify what is "good" and "beneficial" for the long-term. 

3) Humility- the state or quality of being humble; absence of vanity or excessive pride.
I was going to write "good manners" at first, but then as I thought longer about this point, I decided that Humility was the best way to put it. You may be well-mannered on the outside, but only out of selfish pride or fear. Many people are perceptive. They can smell fake from across the galaxy. Therefore, I concluded that humility is the base ingredient for any genuine good social behavior anywhere in the world. In relation to the original point of this writing, true humility and subsequent good manners will make you stand out from the others who are equally knowledgeable, smart and wise. Given a choice between having a relationship with a sea urchin and a golden lab, most people would pick the golden lab. 

How as a parent, can I equip my children with these qualities that I believe can help them better navigate and adapt to the world they were born into? What if I am not particularly discerning, wise or humble?

The first thing I would think to do, is to learn more about what constitutes discernment, wisdom or humble. I would surround myself with any person, book, experience, movie, etc that can teach me more about these values.

Secondly, practice makes perfect. What better way to learn than to put these values into practice as and when you can? The other benefit of this is that as I practice these values, my child can watch me make mistakes and recover. He can then learn from my mistakes instead of making them on his own.

Thirdly, I would encourage my child to exercise these values alongside myself. In every little action- even putting his toys away (at a young age), I could surely have him practice discernment (where to put what), wisdom (why to put what where) and humility/good manners (why to put what where so as to benefit others besides myself in the long run).